Friedrich Ueberweg

Friedrich Ueberweg (January 22, 1826 - June 9, 1871), was a German historian of philosophy.

He was born at Leichlingen, in Rhenish Prussia, where his father was a Lutheran pastor. Educated at Göttingen and Berlin, he qualified at Bonn as Privatdozent in philosophy (1852). In 1862 he was called to Königsberg as extraordinary professor, and in 1867 he was promoted to the ordinary grade. He married in 1863.

His compendious History of Philosophy is remarkable for its fullness of information, conciseness, accuracy and impartiality. At first he followed Friedrich Eduard Beneke's empiricism, and strongly opposed the subjectivistic tendency of the Kantian system, maintaining in particular the objectivity of space and time, which involved him in a somewhat violent controversy. His own mode of thought he preferred later to describe as an ideal realism, which refused to reduce reality to thought, but asserted a parallelism between the forms of existence and the forms of knowledge. Beneke and Friedrich Schleiermacher exercised most influence upon the development of his thought.

Selected works


  • De elementis animae mundi Platonicae (On the elements of the Platonic world of ideas), Dissertation, 1850;
  • Die Entwicklung des Bewußtseins durch den Lehrer und Erzieher (The development of consciousness by the teacher and educator, 1853;
  • System der Logik und Geschichte der logischen Lehren (System of logic and history of logic teaching), 1857;
  • Über Idealismus, Realismus und Idealrealismus (On idealism, realism and idealrealism), 1859;
  • Über die Echtheit und Zeitfolge der platonischen Schriften (''On the authenticity and chronology of the Platonic writings), 1861;
  • Grundriß der Geschichte der Philosophie (Sketch of the history of philosophy), I-III, 1863-1866;
  • Schiller als Historiker und Philosoph (Schiller as historian and philosopher), 1884;
  • Gesammelte philosophische Abhandlungen (Collected philosophical papers), 1889.


  • F. A. Lange, Friedrich Ueberweg (Berlin, 1871)
  • Moritz Brasch, Die Welt und Lebensanschauung Friedrich Ueberwegs (Leipzig, 1889)

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